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Hosea Ministry International

Newsletter
July 2022

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NEWSLETTER JULY 2022

Hello again

Joyful news from Hosea in the Philippines! A new Hosea church has been planted in an NPA (terrorist) area in Malpalo. We have been spreading the gospel in that area for months, with support from the military because of the continuous fighting there. The first meeting that we held in Malpalo drew in many people and about 800 of them wanted to give their lives to Jesus. As a result of this huge number of conversions a church was needed for the new believers. We don't have a church building yet and instead meetings are held under the shade of trees. Weekly Bible studies take place in one of the family's homes and that family has the responsibility for arranging the meetings.

We finally received permission to arrange our schools’ end of term celebrations after a long period of covid restrictions. President Marcos announced that normal schooling could recommence this November. Distance teaching is very challenging for the schools and our pupils are longing to get back together with their friends at school: especially in the slum areas where remote learning is very difficult. Their bamboo huts do not have any electricity supply and, even if they did, power cuts are very frequent. Similarly slum dwellers can only afford basic mobile phone tariffs for messaging and not for good internet connections. Such challenges seemed to go unrecognised by government officials in their ivory towers in Manila.

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Malpalo Hosea Ministry International church

Our school teachers have done a brilliant job to ensure that their pupils were well prepared for all the official tests that they have to undergo. I could write a book about the imaginative and even hilarious ways that the teachers have coped! The end of term celebrations have been a vivid memory for our pupils, demonstrating powerfully that the covid restrictions are now over and done with. As always our teachers spread the good news of Jesus at every opportunity.

School lessons have been subject to covid limitations such as reducing numbers of students in each class and strict distancing between pupils' desks,rather ironic in the slum areas since children mix freely out of school.

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Graduation at the Hosea Ministry Internaional school

Pastor Sonio has continued to teach the Bible to police officers each week, involving three different police forces, and now another police department has  requested him to provide similar classes. President Marcos had continued the initiative of his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte of a Bible programme for both police and military staff as it has brought such good results.

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Police Department Bible lessons

Hosea churches are growing fast and our new school building at Capacunga is almost ready.The Turawan tribe comes faithfully down from the mountains to attend the Capacunga church.

Mindoro Island has been free from coronavirus for a year already. I believe that your faithful intercessory prayers have made all this possible: compared to the massive impact of the virus in Manila, this is miraculous!

In their war against terrorism in Mindoro, the military are making good progress. In my previous newsletter I told that soldiers have come to faith, but it would not be prudent to give more details. We believe in a God of miracles: when the light comes then the darkness has to flee.

Please pray for Hosea's work on Vava'u Island in Tonga. There have been many challenges following the volcanic eruption on the islands: coronavirus, measles, swine flu and shortages of food to mention a few. Dorothy has risen to these challenges but life there is very difficult.

Thank you for your love and care for our work.

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. Psalms 112:4


With blessings

Anne

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Mangyans had bravely formed a choir and even composed a song. We have now more than 40 adult students in the school, their ages varying from young to old. They told us that they were now able to vote for the first time in the elections. Earlier they had had to give their voting slip to others to fill in, without knowing what they wrote in them, because they could not read or write.

When the Mangyan students were singing their song, I was standing in the back of the church. Suddenly I noticed four small children hiding between benches. Our teacher said that they were our students, and she then went and asked why they were not among the other children. One of them explained with tears, that they were so hungry that they could not go to sing. I was so surprised to learn that they were already 6 year olds, even though they looked more like 2 year olds, skinny and bony small children. Nheng commented that this is due to malnutrition, which is the reason why all these tribespeople are so small: their continuous lack of food stunts their growth. We brought a 40 kg bag rice with us and also other foodstuff and fed them all after the meeting, thanks again to the donors! We made so much food that there was enough for evening meal as well.

Last spring Hosea organized a medical mission for the Mangyan tribe. We also left some medicines with the local Pastor, so the tribespeople could be given help later as well. The Pastor said that some Mangyans come even at night begging for help in their desperation. Also some people from other tribes turned up for medicine and were given some, for it is hard to turn desperate people away without help. Now we are in the process again of collecting funds for another medical mission, which should happen sometime next year.

While we were in the Mangyan village, I recognised that most of them were walking bare foot again. I wondered what had happened to all those sandals which had been donated for them a year earlier. The Pastor laughed and explained that the Mangyans have a peculiar walking style, they step heavily on their heels and that wears out the heels of the shoes very quickly. That means that they will need a new pair of sandals every year. One man had a good pair of sandals slung over his shoulders, so I went and asked him why he didn't use them. The man replied: “I don't want to use them as they would wear out. When they hang on my shoulders everyone can see that I have shoes.” So this man had still good shoes, while others had worn theirs out”¦ Now, who is the wise and where is the wisdom here?

We also distributed a bag full of clothes. Birgit and Ulla went to buy some more and as always the Mangyans put the new clothes on top of their old rags. They can't see any reason why the old clothes should be taken off, so they carry their whole wardrobe with them all the time. The same clothes are worn day and night and the extra clothing keeps them warm at night on the mountains. The price tags are also left on, so everyone can see they are new clothes.

Hosea's second fishing boat is now operating on the eastern side of Mindoro Island (Oriental Mindoro) where it is manned by our Mangyan pastor, thus serving the Mangyans also. There are more fish now on the Oriental side of the island because big Indonesian fishing trawlers have appeared close to the Occidental Mindoro shores (the western side of the island). Occidental Mindoro is facing the open ocean, so Indonesian factory ships come close to the shore and take in all fish, big and small, diminishing the fish population. Locals usually fish with spears, sparing spawning fish for reproduction. They understand the laws of the nature and know that spawn fish are needed to keep fish stocks -- you cannot empty the ocean of fish. Local small fishing boats can't drive away large foreign fishing vessels, so locals are deprived of their fishing livelihood.

The Hosea Filipino team want to send their heartfelt thanks to all the supporters and prayer warriors. They and also our students keep praying for you. They understand that it is because of you, your prayers and your donations, that they have this wonderful opportunity to get an education and thus a good start to their lives. It was really great to meet some of our very first students, the ones with whom we started this ministry in the Philippines. It was so wonderful to see the fruit of this work. Many parents are also saved as they attend our weekly Bible studies.

Great blessings from the islands,

ANNE

 

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